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Upstate partners with Colgate University on workshop addressing grief and loss experienced during pandemic Oct. 13 through 15

A special event featuring a panel discussion, film screening, a grief altar and movement and writing workshop will address issues of loss and grief suffered by health care workers and the larger community due to Covid 19.

The event is free and open to the public. To register for the various sessions, go here. Once registered, information on how to attend remotely will be available.

“Upstate is participating in this collaborative project with Colgate University in recognition of the collective grief and loss experienced by our health care workers and larger community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Caitlin Nye, clinical assistant professor of nursing at Upstate. “These events will create a space to pause, reflect, and connect in our experiences so that we may continue to heal and move forward.”

The three-day event begins Oct. 13 with a movement and writing workshop centered on processing grief and healing for health care professionals and others. The session, titled “collaborating with grief, moving toward connection, a space for healthcare professionals,” will be led by nurse, dancer and choreographer devynn emory. The session takes play from noon to 1:30 p.m. in 4414A Academic Building on the Upstate campus.

The screening of the film “deadbird” and a post-film panel discussion will be held Oct. 14 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in 4414A Academic Building. The film follows “three characters who share their stories of near-death experiences and the afterlife, seeded in an amalgamation of patients passed, friends lost in queer community, and family taken by COVID-19.” The panel discussion will be facilitated by Christian DuComb, Colgate associate professor of theater. Upstate representatives on the panel are Nye and Liz Jorolemon Smith.

emory will also hold a workshop titled “land somatics: moving, grief and reconnecting” Oct. 14 from 2:45 to 4 p.m. at 212 Ryan Hall on the Colgate campus.

Running through the three-day event will be a grief altar called “can anybody help me hold this body.” The altar will be available from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 13, dawn to dusk Oct 14 and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 15 at Onondaga Lake Park. Individuals are invited to place an item at the altar in honor of a lost loved one. The altar is being tended by by emory to honor the land on which the altar is set. emory will carry out the ritual of the alter closing at 2 p.m. Oct. 15.

As the key facilitator for the event, emory is a transgender choreographer, dance artist, bodyworker, ceremonial guide, and a registered nurse with a background in acute medical surgical, hospice, COVID-19 and currently integrative health in New York City. More on emory is available here.

The event is being made possible with support from the Upstate Nursing Alumni Association through the Whitney Lectureship Endowment, Colgate University Theater Department, Colgate Film & Media Studies, the Upstate Medical University College of Nursing, and the Consortium for Culture and Medicine (SUNY Upstate/Syracuse University). 

Caption: Nurse, dancer and choreographer devynn emory of New York City will lead the event.